Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre presents Corktown, Or Through the Valley of Dry Bones October 14-23 at the Pasant Theatre in the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
The play, written by Haitian American playwright Jeff Augustin and modeled after the Thornton Wilder classic, Our Town, centers on Jackee, a 14-year-old boy who takes us on a tour of one of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods between 2007 and 2034.
“I can’t think of any other play that’s told through the eyes of a Black queer teen. Jackee is one of my favorite narrators. He’s silly, he’s smart, and he sees beauty where lots of people have been told there is none,” said Dr. Chamara Jewel Kwakye, Academic Specialist in MSU’s Department of African American and African Studies, who is guest directing the play.
From the Corktown neighborhood’s urban blight to the gentrified renaissance, the play chronicles the life cycle of a city and the lives of its residents. When the music is turned down and the graffiti is painted over, there’s a beating heart in the history of a place that can’t be ceased.
“This run of Corktown is so important to this contemporary moment in American Society because it is what’s happening in many American cities and towns right now. As the cost of living and inflation skyrocket, it’s becoming harder for people to move through their day-to-day lives.”Chamara Jewel Kwakye, Guest Director of Corktown
“This run of Corktown is so important to this contemporary moment in American Society because it is what’s happening in many American cities and towns right now,” Kwakye said. “As the cost of living and inflation skyrocket, it’s becoming harder for people to move through their day-to-day lives. It’s a universal human story that anyone can relate to.”
Assistant Director Ural Grant is an MFA Acting Candidate and a member of the MSU Gospel Choir, which collaborated with Lucas Nunn, Professor of Sound Design and Engineering, to incorporate original recordings into the show. The choir also will give a pre-performance concert on Sunday, October 16, beginning at 1:15 p.m.
Tickets for Corktown, Or Through the Valley of Dry Bones are $23.50 for general admission, $21.50 for MSU faculty/staff and seniors, and $13.50 for students. Tickets are available online at whartoncenter.com, at the Wharton Center box office, or by calling 1-800-WHARTON.
Performance Dates and Times
- Friday, October 14, at 8 p.m.
- *Sunday, October 16, at 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, October 21, at 8 p.m.
- Saturday, October 22, at 2 and 8 p.m.
- Sunday, October 23, at 2 p.m.
*Pre-Show Performance by the MSU Gospel Choir on Sunday, October 16, at 1:15 p.m.
Content Advisory: This play deals with themes of death, dying, and the afterlife; use of alcohol, profanity, and derogatory language, including use of homophobic and ableist slurs.
For more information on the show and other MSU Department of Theatre productions, visit: https://theatre.msu.edu/2022-2023-season/.